Tuesday, July 24, 2007

LiOn battery care: it's the heat

Apple has a page up on maximizing iPhone battery life. Some of its universally applicable to all portable devices, others apply to all iPods (see also). The list below includes the web site info, and some of my own superstitions. The item new to me is bolded ...
  • Heat. LiOn batteries are damaged by heat. (I don't know if extreme cold damages the battery or simply transiently reduces output.) Keep your iPod, iPhone or laptop cool, especially when charging. Temps over 95C will reduce lifespan, so avoid leaving it in car in the summer. (A LiOn battery that's very hot during charging may be malfunctioning, as in pre-explosive. Don't wait for it combust, get it replaced.)
  • Use the battery at least monthly. LiOn batteries don't like storage, they age even if they are never used, though this effect is less severe than it once was. If you buy a device that's been on-the-shelf for a year you should expect inferior battery performance.
  • Run the charge from 100% to about 15-20% and recharge. (I've read this elsewhere and it gets periodically repeated. Others say there's no real problem with frequent "top off" charges except that the "battery life prediction" becomes less accurate.) A full discharge every 1-2 months will make the battery indicator more accurate. LiOn batteries age faster if they're totally drained repeatedly.
  • Turn off bluetooth, 802.11, etc unless you need it.
  • EQ settings: "Adding EQs to playback uses more of your processor, since they aren’t encoded in the song. Turn EQ off if you don’t use it. If, however, you’ve added EQ to tracks in iTunes, you’ll need to set EQ to “flat” in order to have the effect of “off,” because iPhone keeps your iTunes settings intact. Go to Settings > iPod > EQ."

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